Current Affairs Book Reviews

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Winchester's passionate research—on sea and land—undergirds this superb analysis of a world wonder that we seem hellbent on damaging."
The preternaturally curious writer about everything from the Oxford English Dictionary to volcanoes to the Atlantic Ocean (Atlantic: A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, 2010, etc.) returns with a series of high-resolution literary snapshots of the Pacific Ocean.Read full book review >
LET THERE BE WATER by Seth M. Siegel
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A major contribution to this hotly debated issue and to broader questions of environmental policy.
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An in-depth report on how Israel has combined technological innovation with conservation to achieve a water surplus at home and become a world leader in water management. Read full book review >

ALLY by Michael B. Oren
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 23, 2015

"Even before its publication, Oren's book has been attacked, based on culls of provocative pieces. Readers would do well to attend to the entire text of this fluent, important political memoir."
The former Israeli ambassador to the United States balances his personal story with his ambassadorial history. Read full book review >
DOOMED TO SUCCEED by Dennis Ross
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Ross provides a learned, wise template for understanding the long-term relationship between two countries tethered to one another out of shared self-interest and geopolitical necessity and yet with sometimes-conflicting senses of the way forward."
A history of the sometimes-fraught, occasionally tense, but always essential relationship between the United States and Israel. Read full book review >
THE NEW TSAR by Steven Lee Myers
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"A highly effective portrait of a frighteningly powerful autocrat."
The reptilian, poker-faced former KGB agent, now Russian president seemingly for life, earns a fair, engaging treatment in the hands of New York Times journalist Myers.Read full book review >

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"Serious readers will delight in these pages."
An unusually rewarding meditation on how a wild mushroom can help us see the world's ruined condition after the advent of modern capitalism. Read full book review >
BLUE by Joe Domanick
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Sprawling, engrossing, and highly relevant to the ongoing controversies about policing post-Ferguson, which Domanick addresses in an epilogue."
An incisive examination of American policing, using a tumultuous two decades in Los Angeles as a lens. Read full book review >
EMPIRE OF FEAR by Andrew Hosken
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A tremendously useful, insightful study of the frightening spread of a culture of death."
An exploration of the spreading terror of the self-proclaimed new caliphate. Read full book review >
WHAT PHILOSOPHY CAN DO by Gary Gutting
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Somewhat less supple than Simon Blackburn's Think (1999) as a general introduction to philosophy but an excellent, readable, and eminently practical guide."
It can't take you to the airport, but philosophy, as this spirited book argues, can do all sorts of great things—including contribute to our happiness. Read full book review >
A STREET DIVIDED by Dion Nissenbaum
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A must-read for anyone interested in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian drama."
The revealing story of a street "at the epicenter of one of the world's most intractable conflicts." Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A hackle-raising book about nature and human nature, venality and justice, and how disasters—before, during, and after—sharply mirror society."
How the most significant deleterious factor in natural disasters may be the human element. Read full book review >
A FIELD PHILOSOPHER'S GUIDE TO FRACKING by Adam Briggle
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 19, 2015

"Goliath takes it right between the eyes in this unique take on the convoluted politics, science, and cultural issues at stake regarding fracking."
Out of the university and into the streets, Briggle (Philosophy/Univ. of North Texas) brings the practice of "field philosophy" to the question of whether fracking is feckless or feasible. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >